Primaries Expose Bitter Fight in Democratic Party

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Yves here. Howie Klein of DownWithTyranny fame gives an assessment of the state of the cage match between establishment Democrats and progressives in .

One addition to the discussion below: Katie Porter, a candidate in one of the California primaries, had played a very important role in the state by acting as the monitor of California’s version of the National Foreclosure Settlement. State attorney general Kamala Harris did negotiate a better deal for California than any other state had, and part of it was California having its own monitor. Porter scored important achievements, even though it was outlawed by the settlement.

PAUL JAY:Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Paul Jay, in Baltimore.

The primaries are a time in the Democratic Party when the civil war in the Democratic party breaks out into the open. Much more in public view. The fight some people position, from the progressive Sander-esque wing of the party, as a fight within, a fight within the party against the oligarchy within the party. Using the words of Bernie Sanders, the oligarchy that rules America. And that can get bitter and as intense as any fight against the oligarchy. Of course, in the election in the Democratic Party there’s enormous pressure on progressives not to split the vote, not to weaken the fight against the Republicans and Trump. And in the primary that was just held on Tuesday there was a lot of that kind of messaging, particularly, particularly in California, that has this unique structure of the top two candidates going forward. And there was some fear the top two both the Republicans in some races.

At any rate, just how did the progressives do in this primary, not just in California, but other parts of the country? And what does this mean for this struggle inside the party going forward to the 2020 presidential elections?

Now joining us from Los Angeles, California to discuss all of this is Howie Klein. Howie is an adjunct professor at McGill University in Montreal. He serves on the board of People for the American Way, and blogs under the nom de guerre Down With Tyranny. Thanks very much for joining us again, Howie.

HOWIE KLEIN:My pleasure. Thanks for inviting me.

PAUL JAY:So give us a bit of a big picture. How did, how did the progressive candidates do? Maybe we’ll start in California. There was particular pressure on progressives that were supposedly not as electable as some of the more centrist candidates backed by the party establishment. And given that weird structure of the California elections they were, many of them were even asked to withdraw. So how did that all work out?

HOWIE KLEIN:Well, Paul, let me start by saying that you have been brain drilled by the, by the mainstream media. So let’s start by correcting something immediately, which is that the, the more progressive candidates are less electable. That isn’t true.

PAUL JAY:Oh, I didn’t say that. I said corporate Democrats said that. That ain’t me saying that.

HOWIE KLEIN:Exactly. Well, that’s exactly right. Corporate Democrats are saying that. It is totally not true. And let me go back a couple of weeks, before we get to California, where-. Let’s go to Omaha, Nebraska. I mean, that you know, you don’t think of that as a, necessarily a liberal bastion, but yet the Blue Dog corporate Democrat, just an awful candidate, the Democratic Party, the DCCC, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, triple C is what I’ll refer to them from now on in our talk, they to go Brad Ashford, who is a Blue Dog, a very, very conservative Democrat, and not, not a good candidate. And this is a district that Bernie won.

So why would he be more electable? He was a congressman. And the people in that district threw him out. He was a terrible- he was a terrible congressman, they recognized it, and they defeated him. But yes, the DCCC wanted him to be candidate. And the people of the district said no, and they elected a progressive, a Bernie type, or let’s say Berniecrat, named Kara Eastman. And you know, that’s the way it should be. So here you have the corporate Democrats, or the DCCC, or the establishment, or anything you want to call them, claiming that their horrible Blue Dog would be the would be the better candidate. It wasn’t true. Now what happens after the the primary, now the DCCC is refusing to recognize her as a legitimate candidate, and they haven’t put her on their red to blue list. So they’re not helping her. And they’re going to do their best to make her lose. That’s what the DCCC does. Can I use dirty words on this thing? Or you want me to keep it clean.

PAUL JAY:You can use any, any words in the English language.

HOWIE KLEIN:OK. Fuck them. They are, they are literally trying to make progressives lose after, after the, after the primaries, after they win primaries. So I just used one example, but there are several.

Now let’s jump to California. So you had a, a mixed, a mixed batch of races here. And by the way, very few people know this, and they should, but there are at least a dozen races that haven’t been decided yet, that are too close to call. Now, in California we have these open or jungle primaries, where it doesn’t matter what party you’re with. Everybody runs together in the primary, and the two top vote getters then go on to November. So in every race, the top person has been chosen, but not the number two.

So you know, like I was just looking at one a couple of minutes ago, where it could even be three. Any of three people who wind up in the number two spot. There is just, there are over 100000 votes to count in these, in these districts, and in some cases only 80 votes separating the number two and number three candidate. So it is very, very close.

But let’s look, for example, at my favorite race. It was the race in Orange County. It was very highly touted. So there was, there was no chance it was ever going to be two Republicans, because there is a Republican incumbent named Mimi Walters. She’s a complete, total, utter Trump lackey. She is a puppet of the establishment. She never does anything other than what the establishment wants. She is worthless. Just worthless. Hillary won this district. It was close. It’s never been in Democratic hands since the Depression in the 1930s. But Hillary did win it. And there was, the Democrats, the DCCC, the Democrat establishment didn’t have anybody running, you know, in a serious campaign. So now there will be. So there were two top candidates. There were many, many candidates running, but there were two at the very top. One of them is a dreadful New Dem. So New Dems are the Wall Street-owned conservative wing of the Democratic Party. So the, this guy named Dave Min was the New Dem.

So to be a New Dem or a Blue Dog, I should just say this, to use those words, it doesn’t mean, it’s not an adjective. It’s an actual organization. You have to apply for membership. You go to meetings, you help elect officers. It’s a real organization. And in order to get their endorsement you have to apply for their endorsement, and fill out a, a sheet that that answers their questions, so they can be sure that you are going to vote with them. And these are the people that always vote with the Republicans, especially on economic issues. This is a Wall Street-oriented organization, the New Dems.

So what, what happened was Dave Min did the thing that is the worst possible thing that a Democrat can do in a primary. He went all the way negative on the more progressive candidate. Just said the worst things about her. Democratic voters, unlike Republican voters, Democratic voters don’t like when Democrats attack other Democrats. They want Democrats to save their fire to attack Republicans. But Dave Min attacked Katie Porter so Katie Porter is a progressive. She’s a, she went to Harvard, and her professor at Harvard was Elizabeth Warren. And when Elizabeth Warren was looking for someone to cowrite a book with her, she chose the best student in her class. And that was Katie Porter. So Elizabeth Warren is a big fan of Katie’s. Katie has dedicated her life to vote, to, aside from her family, has dedicated her professional life to going and trying to help work on issues around consumer protection. That’s her beat, is consumer protection. She also worked for Kamala Harris, when Kamala Harris was the attorney general. And both Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris endorsed her.

In Elizabeth Warren’s case it was more than an endorsement. She helped her raise money. She would send out letters several times a week urging people to vote for her. But meanwhile, this guy Dave Min used to work for a much more conservative Democrat in Congress: Chuck Schumer. And he worked for Chuck Schumer on the Wall Street beat, making it possible for Chuck Schumer to become the single most rewarded person in the history of Congress by Wall Street.

Now let me just- since I just said that, let me just make make it clear. People who run for president get more money than senators. You know, you can take out people like Hillary Clinton, who was a senator, and not count that. But someone who didn’t run for president, Chuck Schumer has taken more money from Wall Street than anyone in history. Last time I looked it was something like $26 million. And Min worked in his office on the Wall Street beat. So making it more easy for Chuck Schumer to take what I call bribes, they call donations or contributions. In any case, Katie, the progressive, beat Min, the less progressive, or the more conservative candidate.

PAUL JAY:Let me just add something to the Schumer point, that a lot of that money that Schumer got, he used to fund other Senate campaigns, which enabled him to become such a leading voice in the Senate. It was through Schumer Wall Street got to influence all kinds of Senate campaigns, not just Schumer’s.

HOWIE KLEIN:Exactly right. And remember, until last Senate cycle, Schumer was the chairman of the DSCC. So I’ve been talking about the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the DCCC. Their Senate brothers and sisters are the DSCC, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Schumer was the chairman of that. And while he was the chairman of that, he did the same thing. He would pick these very conservative candidates. Wall Street-oriented. And when they didn’t win, he would get [inaudible] the progressive.

PAUL JAY:Howie, let me ask you a question. I interviewed Thomas Frank, the author of “Whatever Happened to Kansas?” And his, a couple of other books. And he made the point that he thought corporate Democrats, they don’t just have policy disagreements with the left, progressive section of the party. He said they hate the left of the party. And some of what you’re describing, trying to actually sabotage the elections and campaigns of some of the progressive candidates, what is that going to mean heading into, well, 2018 and then 2020, in terms of the progressive voters having any enthusiasm for coming out and getting involved or actually voting in the next elections? Obviously hatred for Trump is going to drive a lot. But there’s a point at which the progressive section of the party doesn’t feel like this is their party.

HOWIE KLEIN:The theory is that it would, it would hurt the enthusiasm of progressives if that’s what happens. The reality, and I’ve been-. For example, I read a poll today which I think is a good one from the, from NBC News and The Wall Street Journal. Good poll. And what it showed is that the single most important issue for Democrats, and by an overwhelming amount, is that, is that they will vote for someone who they feel will put a check on Trump. That is what is motivating both Democrats and independents.

So on issues, yes, healthcare is the number one issue. Jobs and employment is the number two issue. So those, those are very important to them. [What’s overriding] everything else is who will put a, who will put a check on Trump. So that, I feel, is going to motivate people to go to the polls. What happened in 2006, the last big blue wave that-. What happened is that Rahm Emanuel was the head of the DCCC. He did everything he can, he could do, to disadvantage progressives. So you know, all over the country he would be backing these terrible conservative Wall Street candidates, and some of them were anti-gay, some of them were anti-choice, and they were all pro Wall Street. And some of them were pro-NRA. It was just a terrible lot of candidates. But he knew, he’s a smart guy. He knew that what would happen is people, there was a wave building, and people would just go and vote for his atrocious candidates.

So first of all, in the primaries, some of his bad candidates lost, and the progressives won. He then would, he then cut ties with them and just gave up on those districts. However, many of those candidates won anyway. And some of them are still in Congress, like Jerry McNerney, for example, or Carol Shea Porter, another example of candidates that Rahm would help after they won against his terrible candidates in the primary. They’re still in Congress. But you know what happened to every single one of Rahm’s candidates, every one of them? Not one, not one, it doesn’t fit in with what I’m telling you. Not one of them is still in Congress, because the next time there was a primary, that’s when-. I’m sorry, the next time there was a midterm, the Repub the Democrats the progressive Democrats said I’m not voting for this guy you voted with Republicans all the time in Congress. He’s terrible. I got sold a bill of goods and they were defeated. That was in 2010. That was the next primary after 20 06. And people say, oh, look how badly the Democrats did. No. What happened is all of the candidates that Rahm snuck into Congress in this big wave, they were all defeated the next time Democrats could defeat them.

So now, that doesn’t mean that Democrats voted for Republicans. It just means they stayed home. They didn’t go vote. So I am looking-. So the same thing, again. People who are going to vote in 2018 anyway, and then 2020 is a presidential year, so they’ll vote again, 2022 will be a complete catastrophe for the Democratic Party. That’s, you know, easy to see, history repeating itself, because these imbeciles at the DCCC never learn. In fact, they so didn’t learn that the first thing that Ben Ray Lujan, the new chairman, the first thing he did was ask Rahm to be his consiglieri and give him advice. So he’s just following the same terrible pattern that Rahm did that was a disaster for the Democrats. And when I brought this up to members of the DCCC, some of the big shots, they just shrug their shoulders and say, yeah, you’re right. But if we have four years we can get a lot accomplished.

PAUL JAY:Now, in your blog, if I have it correct, correctly, you have a source that suggested that there could be a Sanders-Warren ticket. And it seems to me a Sanders-Warren ticket could win the primary. Would the powers that be in the Democratic Party allow such a thing? In other words, the kind of shenanigans that we found out through the hack of the DNC servers and the emails that came out, and the kind of support they gave to Hillary against Sanders, it seems to me would even be far more threatening to them to have a Sanders-Warren ticket. So first of all, how serious is that source? And how do you see this unfolding? Because that would be a very serious threat to the people that are controlling the party.

HOWIE KLEIN:So, first of all, the source is very very serious. It’s someone who, who knows pretty well. They’ve never steered me wrong before, and I’ve questioned them closely to see if this is real. And she says yes, it’s real. And I believe it now things can change. So maybe maybe maybe it won’t. But as of right now that’s what I’m counting on is is a burp and boring ticket and then the establishment you know the Wall Street end of the Democratic Party or you might want to call it the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. They will have some someone who will who will represent that end of the party in the primary. Whether it’s Joe Biden the the the bankruptcy king of the Senate or Cuomo the governor of New York or you know some you know identity politics candidate like Gillibrand though they’ll have some conservative Democrat running against Bernie and Elizabeth Warren.

I don’t know who it’s going to be. And you know I don’t think they can get away with doing again what they did to Bernie. They’re changing some of the rules. You know, I was looking at Michigan, for example, like Bernie beat Hillary Clinton. And he beat, he beat her pretty substantially, walked away with more electoral votes than he got, and that can’t, that won’t happen again. And this, you know, what I just told you was about one state, because I was writing about it today. But this was true in lots of states, where Bernie got more votes than Hillary, but Hillary got more electoral votes. I mean, that isn’t fair. And when you, when you look at it you realize that Bernie on primary day didn’t just beat Hillary in county after county after county, he beat Trump. He got more votes than Trump did. There’s no question in my mind that if Bernie had been the candidate, he would have won.

PAUL JAY:All right, thanks very much for joining us, Howie. I hope we can do this again soon.

HOWIE KLEIN:Great. I look forward to it. Take care.

PAUL JAY:All right. And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

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30 comments

  1. CB

    I can’t speak to any other state than nj. I voted for Carlson and McCormick. I was shocked, actually, to find any ballot line dems I could vote for. the other ballot line dems ran unopposed and I didn’t bother with them: establishment hacks, one and all

  2. The Rev Kev

    Hard to fight a war against Republicans when you are at the same time fighting a civil war against Republicans.

    1. notabanker

      The impatient cynic in me says neither of these battles are the ones to be fought. The realist says, maybe this is the evolution that needs to happen to form a third party.

  3. flora

    ” Now what happens after the the primary, now the DCCC is refusing to recognize her as a legitimate candidate, and they haven’t put her on their red to blue list. So they’re not helping her. And they’re going to do their best to make her lose. That’s what the DCCC does.”

    Bingo!

    Thanks much for this post.

  4. Brooklin Bridge

    Who was it who said, “Americans always do the right thing after exhausting all other alternatives.”? As we dick around generation after generation attempting to resolve this kerfuffle between the progressive and “liberal” (or neoliberal) sides of the Democrat side of the Republican party, a curious dilemma raises it’s head; namely, one of the “alternatives” mentioned above under the category of “all” has become the extinction of the human race (because we keep dicking around rather than dealing with imminent disaster) and one has to wonder how, after exhausting that particular alternative, we go on to doing the right thing? Or maybe that was the right thing all along?

      1. Brooklin Bridge

        Ah yes, though it seems now-a-days, every attribution, no matter how universally accepted, is challenged:

        1. Synoia

          In March 1967 Eban visited Japan, and the New York Times reported on a remark that he made: 1

          Interesting. I used that quote in an Essay about Churchill which I wrote on his death in 1965.

  5. sd

    2006 – Ned Lamont. Pretty much summed everything. After beating Lieberman in the state primary, the DC establishment – including gliberal Barbara Boxer – comes out in force to endorse and support Lieberman’s run as an independent.

    And I think I will just go ahead and leave the typo gliberal – it suits them.

    1. Ur-Blintz

      If “gliberal” was indeed a typo you shouldn’t admit it because it’s a great word for the 21st century. It perfectly distinguishes the fake liberals, those who have convinced themselves that virtue signalling is more important than virtue practiced, from honest people who pursue genuine liberal values.

      Indeed, I don’t think I’ll ever use the word “liberal” again.

      Cheers!

      1. wombat

        With due respect for (re)introducing an awesome term I never heard before:

        “I wouldn’t be too sure about the fate of gliberals though. The majority of Americans aren’t as stupid as gliberals might think, and who knows?” – Written in 1973

        “What has been will be again,
        what has been done will be done again;
        there is nothing new under the sun.”

    2. John Wright

      This appears unfair to Barbara Boxer.

      Per

      ” Senators including Barack Obama and Barbara Boxer sided with Lieberman during the primary, then endorsed Lamont in the general election”

      I believe Barbara Boxer’s shining moment was when she voted against George W. Bush’s Authorization to Use Military Force in Iraq.

      The senate vote was 23 voting against and 77 voting for (HRC, John Kerry, Joe Biden among them)

      In my view, the US Senate got a 23% on this exam, and the Senate continues to earn failing marks on important manners.

      But it works for them.

      Barbara Boxer was willing to vote against more war and I appreciate that.

      1. sd

        She had some shining moments, I don’t disagree there. But endorsing Lieberman was not one of them. And she didn’t vote against the AUMF. You are confusing that with the Iraq Resolution.

        1. John Wright

          The Iraq Resolution is known formally as the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002″

          See

          The early AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists) was passed prior to the Iraq Resolution in September 14, 2001 ( 3 days after 911)

          98 senators voted for the 2001 bill, including Boxer, which probably allowed Bush to ramp up Afghanistan.

          The later AUMF (in Iraq) was used to get the USA solidly in Iraq but 23 senators, including Boxer, voted against it.

          Both were similarly titled AUMF with modifiers “Against terrorists” and “Against Iraq”

          Maybe they should be abbreviated AUMFAT an AUMFAI?

          In both cases, Bush asked Congress for permission, and they, as a group, were willing to accommodate.

          Boxer voted against the AUMFAI, but not the AUMFAT.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      I think Fake Democrat would be a fine term of analytical abuse for the Fake Democrats who came out to oppose the legitimately chosen-in-a-legitimate-primary Real Democrat nominee Lamont in favor of the not-even-a-Fake-Democrat-anymore Lieberman.

    1. Ur-Blintz

      Indeed!!!! Could there be a more perfect description of the fake concern in Nancy Pelosi’s or Chuck Schumer’s emotionless visages as they spew forth their endless BS?

      1. John

        One a multi, multi millionaire and the other the Wall Street Financial Terrorists’ personal Senator.

        Heaven help us.

  6. edmondo

    It’s hard to believe that these guys know much about politics when they confuse “delegates” and “electoral votes” – although the Clinton campaign seemed to have the same problem.

    You know, I was looking at Michigan, for example, like Bernie beat Hillary Clinton. And he beat, he beat her pretty substantially, walked away with more electoral votes than he got, and that can’t, that won’t happen again. And this, you know, what I just told you was about one state, because I was writing about it today. But this was true in lots of states, where Bernie got more votes than Hillary, but Hillary got more electoral votes. I mean, that isn’t fair.

    1. Scott1

      Thanks there a lot edmondO . I was wondering how it worked out to be electoral votes. I have wondered how much Joe Biden knew of Russian influence when he was certifying the electoral votes that gave the election to Donald J. Trump?

      You have to wonder how incompetent the CIA really is. Mailer’s depiction of them is that the Organization is oddly disappointing. Mike FarB on Twitter is short of definitive evidence that votes were flipped inside State’s Precinct’s machines, or wherever votes were officially tallied. It is said that the Russians got into the systems of 21 States, but didn’t do anything.

      Social Media posters full of lies and false flag operations attracting 6 to a demonstration are supposed to have had such effective mind control results as to have given the election to Trump.

      Propaganda and censorship only work completely in closed societies like China and Russia.

      If you could do a sure thing, or take your chances with mind control, what would you do?

      The Clinton Unit, throw out that “First Woman President” and see it for what it is, the Clinton Unit.

      The Clinton Unit through combined experience as either President or Secretary of State ought to have had all the best empirically supported knowledge of mind control techniques possible to possess.

      That the Clinton Unit lost means between knowledge and means, the interior corruption of the Democratic Party, they were simply incompetent. They said the right things about their goals, but it was understood that they served Goldman Sachs first.

      The US is at war with the Russians. The US prosecution of the war is all done as Sanctions. Or at least that is what I see primarily.

      Russia run by Putin reacted to the sanctions with Hybrid Warfare. Is Trump a useful idiot or committed to the international oligarchy?
      Jill Stein sure was a useful idiot.

      Trump is by nature committed to the ideology that established the Russian Oligarchy, that being Privatization.

      I am all for the wresting from Trump Our Post Office. I see it as a battle against Privatization. To make the victory of it’s return to us I would raze it to the ground.

      The US System of Democracy is not as robust a system of Democracy as the Parliamentary system but we have not changed over to that system and will not for the foreseeable future.

      I wait for the day that Sanders makes a deal to become a Democrat. He is not trying to serve two masters as do establishment Democrats.

      The future of mankind depends on who is the President of the United States.

      The Democratic Party must be taken over by American Eclectic Pragmatists, or all will be lost.

      When we talk about the Democratic Party and anyone who considers themselves a Democrat or a coerced Progressive dependent upon it, it is really only those who have gone to the local Precinct Office and stuffed envelopes who will really get it.

      Or at least that is what I believe as a result of my experiences with it. Were I to return to the offices of the Party I would have to take with me two others, preferably large, tall people. Going at it alone didn’t work out.

      1. Elizabeth Burton

        That the Clinton Unit lost means between knowledge and means, the interior corruption of the Democratic Party, they were simply incompetent. They said the right things about their goals, but it was understood that they served Goldman Sachs first.

        Rather, I suggest they were arrogant. They consider themselves members of a superior class and, the success they and the GOP have had controlling the minds of the general public for the last six decades has made them complacent. Which is to our advantage.

        However, without breaking the hold that mind control has on many, many more members of the voting public, we who seek to oust them risk falling into the same trap. We may have a superior message, but we lack centuries of name recognition. That’s why accusing Bernie Sanders and others who refuse to join the club of being “not even a Democrat” is as successful as it continues to be among a percentage of the controlled. Don’t forget we’ve been trained to value tribal identity over just about everything else, in conjunction with having those tribes most to be aspired to defined for us.

        I wish there were a faster way to do this, but I don’t see one. At least, not one that will have the necessary lasting effect. It will do no good to elect a more progressive Congress this fall if it just goes back to the status quo two years later because “promises weren’t kept.” We are too conditioned to cast a ballot then expect results without our having to put in any further thought on the matter, much less action. That has to change, too.

      2. animalogic

        “Propaganda and censorship only work completely in closed societies like China and Russia.”
        If this statement refers to 2018 it is, in the absence of argument, inaccurate & unfair. If it refers to “relative” openness, then it may have some validity.

  7. Eureka Springs

    Seems to me like the Sanders/prog wing should be working on the rules – to eliminate the likes of the DCCC DSCC, no? An incumbent and money protection racket is inherently anti-representational, anti-democratic.

    1. Code Name D

      They can’t. They don’t hold any majorities with any committees. Even the states where Sander’s won rather handily, establishment Democrats some how still manage to remain in control of the rules committee. Even here in Kansas, where Sanders won the primary in a blow out, establishment some how remains in control and some how continues to frustrate progressive influence over the rules.

  8. Elizabeth Burton

    While I enjoy most of Howie Klein’s work, there are a few facts that need to be kept in mind whenever one reads (or listens to) any of his stuff.

    First, he hates Donald Trump with a passion that makes him latch on to anything that is anti-Trump. That’s why he’s so pleased with that poll that alleges getting rid of (or “checking”) him is the top priority with most Democrats. The problem is, it’s simply not true. It also allows him to overlook some flaws in semi-progressive candidates that have overcome a truly toxic Republican-lite Democrat that those committed to implementing the progressive agenda find problematic.

    Second, he is fully sold on the Russia narrative. So far as he’s concerned, it’s unassailable fact. This means he thinks that is also a reason people will vote for Democrats so long as said candidates go after Trump. And again, he’s wrong, and that’s dangerous if one of the goals is to win back the “deplorables” who voted for Obama before switching to Trump. They don’t give a [family blog] about Russia. They just want jobs that pay a living wage and health care so they don’t die, which is why they bought Trump’s promises in the first place.

    As a result of these two blind spots, Howie’s analyses of the process are subject to ignoring just how much voter education is needed to convince people the empty, policy-free rhetoric of too many candidates is just that—empty. As long as most people hear the right buzzwords, they’ll fall into the voter line and tick off the boxes that will prevent meaningful change because the majority of the progressive challengers lack the kind of name recognition that gets them votes.

    Just ask Tim Canova. He ran a terrific campaign at a time when Debbie Wasserman Schultz should have been ballot-box poison and lost. Why? According to the voters, nobody know who he was, but they all knew who she was.

    Most people don’t have time to research every single candidate to find out what they stand for. We’re a lazy bunch, we US voters, so if we figure one politician is pretty much like the other we will vote for the person we know. It’s the basic reason lousy candidates keep getting re-elected. And from what I’ve seen, it’s a situation that has been deliberately created by turning politicians into celebrities (on one level or another) and then repeating an implicit message none of them is going to do anything useful so what difference does it make.

    There’s no question the Democrat Party establishment is corrupted, probably beyond recovery. They have made it clear they will do everything in their power to obey their plutocrat overlords and ensure no candidate unwilling to embrace the corruption is elected. Fortunately, they also suffer from the arrogant narcissism of their class, which means they firmly believe they can do that without much problem. Because “deplorables” just don’t have the intelligence and education and grasp of reality to pose a true threat.

    That is our most powerful weapon—that belief that they’re the smartest people in the room. Just ask the French aristocracy.

    1. animalogic

      “There’s no question the Democrat Party establishment is corrupted, probably beyond recovery. ”
      Agreed.
      But are Sanders/Warren essentially anything more than a “lesser evil” ? Few may agree but I see such individuals as Fabian’s – reformers.
      As reformers they logically agree with the system they wish to reform. Maybe they would have the internal “grit” to get something done…but who believes the establishment would allow that reform to be anything but cosmetic ?
      Do we have time left for Fabian tactics ?
      “Just ask the French aristocracy.”
      A fair parallel. But, revolutions are ultimately based on general desperation. Not there yet….but the complete & utter melt down of the foul Democratic party would be a good start.

  9. John D.

    “Second, he is fully sold on the Russia narrative. So far as he’s concerned, it’s unassailable fact. This means he thinks that is also a reason people will vote for Democrats so long as said candidates go after Trump. And again, he’s wrong, and that’s dangerous if one of the goals is to win back the “deplorables” who voted for Obama before switching to Trump. They don’t give a [family blog] about Russia. They just want jobs that pay a living wage and health care so they don’t die, which is why they bought Trump’s promises in the first place.”

    And wasn’t it a thing that many of Trump’s voters didn’t especially like or trust him to begin with? I can’t quote any statistics, but I read in article after article after the election that this specific faction of people understood they were taking a terrible chance on the Orange Oaf, they just felt that they didn’t have any choice because they knew for a dead certainty what they’d be getting with Hillary Clinton. Which, obviously, was nothing good.

    If the Democrats don’t give any credible reasons to change this group’s minds, they’ll be – at a bare minimum – at least as hateful to these voters as Trump is. If nothing else, they’ll have the option of not voting at all.

  10. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Was watching the Ken Burns stuff on the Prohibition. Hysterical American demagogues who decide to try and outlaw beverages mankind has enjoyed for 5,000 years.

    Then there’s the McCarthy era. Hysterical American demagogues who decide the nation should dedicate itself to chasing nonexistent red boogiemen under every bed.

    Fast forward to OMG Russia!. Hysterical American demagogues fabricate a narrative from whole cloth to bamboozle and frighten the sheeple into thinking a handful of Facebook ads mean the election should be annulled and the president should be impeached.

    Must be something in the water

    1. animalogic

      Ah, “moral panics”…so useful…the cultural parallel to “crisis capitalism”.
      My favorite: McCarthyism. The US, at the very zenith of its economic/military power – a country consciously thriving, proud of its indisputable accomplishments, actually, deadly concerned that a few American communists, supported by the loathed USSR could actually overthrow the US constitution etc etc…. When in fact 99% of Americans just want a house in the suburbs & a Chevy in the driveway….

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